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Thornton Hall

The Revolution Will Be Kuhnian.

Arguing With Reaganists: Always Back To Stalin

A post on the New Republic discusses the possibility that reduced troop numbers might break the US of its habit of disastrous armed interventions in countries around the world. 

One Upshot of Shrinking the Army: It'll Be Easier to Kick Our Foreign-Intervention Habit by Michael Kazin.

In the comments, I find evidence of a pattern of Reaganist wrongness:

@CapMan1880  Below you demonstrate that basic stalemate in American politics when you say:

- I'm getting tired picking apart pro-Soviet critiques of US foreign policy that sound like they're out of a Amherst undergrad stumping for Mondale.  

I ran into this the other day when conservatives lost their collective (but not "collectivist"!) shit over "5 Economic Ideas for Millenials". At least one of the ideas was Fredrich Hayek's proposal for a universal basic income, but conservatives saw communism and freaked (see Josh Barro's commentary for more). Anti-landlord was equated with (literally) pro-Stalin instantaneously.

We all have rules of thumb that save us the time and energy of thinking critically about every little daily interaction, but some of these are better than others.

Every Reaganist uses the following two rules to interpret the world:

1. The Soviet Union was organized in a way that guaranteed mass suffering. Their desire to spread that structure around the world was a threat to people everywhere. TRUE

2. Liberals weren't against the Soviet Union, in fact, they have always been pro-communism (False) which is the same as pro-Soviets (false) and that is still the fundamental problem with liberals today (false).

The stalemate happens because every time a Reaganist makes a false assertion based on their belief in point 2 a liberal points out that it is incoherent or facially false. Then the Reaganist falls back to various versions of point 1. No one can successfully attack point 1 because it is true, but the Reaganists don't understand that it is a true belief that becomes more and more irrelevant by the minute.

No Sex In The Health Research

Nutrition Continued: Dietary Saturated Fat and Cholesterol Are Not Bad For You